Cecilia Figueroa works at The Chelsea Garden Center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She loves to work outdoors in all weathers, advising people on how to landscape their yards, or which plants and flowers they should buy to brighten up a place.

“Being outdoors all the time, in touch with nature and the weather at all times of the year is just great. So much better than being stuck in an office,” Cecilia says.

But Cecilia’s working day wasn’t always so fulfilling. For close to seven years she worked for an insurance company in Manhattan. Sitting in her cubicle with fluorescent lights overhead and a blinking computer screen before her, Cecilia was fed up with the place, right down to the chilly conditioned air.

Then about three years ago Cecilia realized her job was making her unhappy and decided to follow her passion. She had majored in horticulture at high school in New Jersey and had often thought of running her own florist shop or at least working with plants and flowers.


‘As soon as I realized that money was not a factor in making me happy I realized I could leave my job at the insurance company and do what I want to do to make me happy,” Cecilia says.

But, as with most people who are trying to find their dream vocation, Cecilia decided to ease herself out of her old position, rather than taking a blind leap into the unknown. She first took a part-time job at a local florist while she was still working at the insurance company. Not long after, a job opened up at the Chelsea Garden Center and the rest is history.

“I live nearby and I ride my bike to work in a few minutes, which is so much better than taking the train twice a day,” Cecilia adds.

And if you are thinking of following in her footsteps Cecilia has a word of advice: “Don’t waste any time, get up and get out now!”

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send 400-word submissions to letters@metro.us.

Latest From ...